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Federal court hearing for Democratic campaign treasurer postponed

October 17, 2011 |  4:14 pm

Photo: (left) U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. Credit: Max Whittaker / Reuters. (right) Kinde Durkee. Credit: Henry Vandermeir / Associated Press
Kinde Durkee, the Burbank-based campaign treasurer being investigated for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars from clients, will not appear in federal court this week as scheduled.

The preliminary hearing on the calendar for Wednesday was pushed back to Dec. 9 under an agreement between the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento, Durkee and her attorney.

Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for U.S. Atty. Benjamin B. Wagner, said the postponement was needed to give prosecutors and Durkee’s attorney, Daniel V. Nixon, more time to examine the evidence. The stipulation says, “The government needs additional time to conclude its investigation, including reviewing, analyzing, and synthesizing materials that have been produced, and will be produced.”

She declined to say whether the evidence in the investigation was being presented to a grand jury.

Nixon could not immediately be reached for comment.

Durkee was the treasurer for scores of Democratic candidates, committees and clubs. She was arrested last month on suspicion of mail fraud. In an affidavit, she was accused of draining $677,181 from an assemblyman's account and using much of it to pay business and personal expenses.

She is free on a $200,000 bond and was ordered to have nothing to do with Durkee & Associates, which is no longer operating. Durkee controlled at least 360 bank accounts at First California Bank for about 100 politicians, numerous political committees and some charities. Those accounts have been frozen until a court can sort out how much money is left  and who it belongs to.


Campaign accountant held in theft of funds 

Bail set for campaign treasurer arrested on fraud charge

Many Democrats used campaign treasurer despite her history

-- John Hoeffel

Photos: (left) U.S. Atty. Benjamin Wagner. Credit: Max Whittaker / Reuters. (right) Kinde Durkee. Credit: Henry Vandermeir / Associated Press